High Court sets D-day for Zoe Developments

High Court sets D-day for Zoe Developments

The High Court will decide on Thursday whether to appoint an examiner to companies in the Liam Carroll controlled Zoe group.

The beleaguered property group, which is seeking the appointment of Mr Ray Jackson as examiner, has bank borrowings of €1.2bn and claims that it faces collapse if its second bid for examinership is unsuccessful.

Today Mr Justice Frank Clarke said that after reviewing the papers in the application he would now be in a position to give his verdict on Thursday morning. Previously the judge had indicated that he would not be in a position to give his ruling until next week at the earliest.

The petition to have an examiner appointed to the firms was brought by Vantive Holdings which, with Jersey-registered Morston Investments Ltd, are the parent companies of around 50 companies known as Zoe Developments.

The other companies include Villeer Developments, Paytor Developments, Carragh Enterprises Ltd and Parlez International Ltd. The firms have a very substantial portfolio of investment and development outlets and a seventh company Royceton.

Zoe is seeking the appointment of Mr Jackson as examiner. It is proposed that he would come up with a scheme that would allow them to continue to trade as a going concern. Any scheme would ultimately require the approval of the High Court before it could come into being.

The new petition is an attempt to secure court protection after the High Court and Supreme Court refused to appoint an examiner to the firms.

The petition is being supported by AIB, Bank of Ireland and Bank of Scotland Ireland. Other banking creditors such as Anglo Irish Bank and Ulster Bank have not objected to the petition.

The application for the appointment of an examiner is also been supported by employees of the companies and sub contractors and creditors of other firms controlled by Liam Carroll.

However ACC bank has urged the High Court to reject the application to have the companies placed into examinership.

Lawyers for Dutch owned ACC bank, whose demand for repayments of €136m loans led to Zoe's application for protection, said that the application "is aspirational and speculative at best".


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